Friday, April 4, 2008

Moon Woman.

I carved her many years ago, and our children grew up in her quiet presence. Now she hangs high on the wall of my daughter Elaine`s living room watching over her family. When asked what possessions she would grab if her lovely new home were to catch on fire she chose Moon Woman without a moments hesitation. Such a close relationship with a graven image!

In the beginning, she slipped under my poised carving knife and into the big cedar board just in time to slowly emerge and take form again after an absence of two thousand years during the Christian era . Moon Woman, a god of the Bronze Age peoples of Europe, once again had form, had eyes, was an agent again within our human lives. One can understand the Biblical stricture against the making of graven images, they take to life so quickly and could so easily divert people from the correct path.

Unlike an ink painting whose essence is lost if it is laboured over, a carving emerges slowly from the void of mystery, like a face shimmering slowly up to the surface of a dark pool. One would think that the carver would have time to think, to press his mind firmly into the wood at the cutting edge of the knife blade; to plan and execute that plan. I`m sure many do just that, but I suspect that for some of us anyway, the carving creates itself. We live in a society now, where rational mind is king and it disturbs people to have something from deep below our present world view float to the surface. In this modern era, we still automatically think "Beware of graven images." Even Christian imagery and what it represents is now often viewed with a skeptical eye.

And yet! And yet! She is so beautiful, so calm, she has looked over us so well through the years that I can`t help but question that stricture. What is so frightening here that we should close our eyes or look aside? By the way we choose to see the world we can build barricades of conventional wisdom around ourselves or we can stay open to the winds that blow and the rich imagery and enticing life that exists just beyond the castle gate.

Out here, Moon Woman looks kindly down on us from her home in the night sky. Out here, she can speak to us!

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